Why lies he in such mean estate?

Tim Muldoon
Director of mission education for Catholic Extension

In 1865, the English hymn writer William Chatterton Dix published “What Child Is This,” a hymn set to the well-known 16th century tune known as “Greensleeves.” Dix paints for us a picture of the birth of Jesus in a town on the margins of ancient Rome, wondering at the mystery of why God would enter into human history in such an obscure place.

“Why lies He in such mean estate, Where ox and ass are feeding? Good Christians, fear, for sinners here The silent Word is pleading.”


God help me! How to grow in prayer

By Jim Beckman
Director of the Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis

“I want to pray, but I just don’t know how.”

“When I try to pray, nothing ever happens.”

“God never speaks to me.”


The Holy Spirit doesn’t really have feathers

He does have a lot of love to give

By Pedro A. Moreno, O.P.
Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis

It’s strange. The most common response I get when I ask someone what comes to mind when I mention the Holy Spirit is “the dove.” Thankfully, some people also go on to say that the Holy Spirit is the Third Divine person of the Trinity. But, the dove is most always mentioned first!

I understand that there are a few biblical references to the Holy Spirit coming down “like a dove,” but the reality of the Holy Spirit goes beyond this image, and the most important aspect is rarely mentioned.


Finding time to sit with Jesus

By Anamaria Scaperlanda Biddick
The Sooner Catholic

The sisters invited him into their home. Both women sat at his feet as he spoke, one content to be in his presence, the other thinking of the uncertainty and sorrow in her life. After taking time to welcome Christ in her home and enjoy his presence, Martha gets up to prepare the meal. Calmly, she rolls out the bread, stirs the soup and sets the table. She glances at Christ and smiles at him while she works, happy that he is in her home.

Meanwhile, her sister Mary remains at Christ’s feet, dwelling on her past and anxious about her future. Jesus re-tells the story of the Good Shepherd to calm her fears, but Mary is too preoccupied with her own thoughts to really listen. “Lord,” she says, “Do you not care that my sister is serving rather than listening to you?”


Book Review: How to fully participate in the Mass

By J.E. Helm
The Sooner Catholic

The forward to Christopher Carstens’ book offers a very interesting suggestion for reading. Dan Burke, himself an author, speaker and EWTN host, says that “A Devotional Journey into the Mass” should be read “as a prayer.” He even suggests that it would be good to read the book “in a setting conducive to prayer such as an adoration chapel or with a prayer group.”

Carstens’ book is subtitled “How Mass Can Become a Time of Grace, Nourishment, and Devotion,” and he is writing, to put it simply, on how to get more out of the Mass. He says in the introduction that this book “is written for everyone who has ever wondered why he should participate in the Mass.”


National School Walkout is time of prayer for many Catholic schools

By Carol Zimmermann
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- March 14, exactly one month since the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, students from around the country planned to walk out of their schools in protest of the nation's gun laws for 17 minutes.

The time is meant to pay tribute to the 17 students and staff members killed that afternoon by gunfire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.


Miracles attributed to Pope Paul VI, Romero clear way for sainthood

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has cleared the way for the canonizations of Blesseds Paul VI and Oscar Romero.

At a meeting March 6 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, Pope Francis signed decrees for the causes of 13 men and women -- among them a pope, an archbishop, two young laywomen and a number of priests and nuns.


Week of March 8-14 honors Catholic women religious

By Catholic News Service

MINNEAPOLIS (CNS) -- Events around the country are marking National Catholic Sisters Week March 8-14. It's the fifth annual celebration of women religious taking place during National Women's History Month.

The weeklong celebration is intended to honor the nation's 45,605 women religious and the sisters before them who founded schools and hospitals. These sisters were, and continue to be, missionaries, contemplatives, activists and spiritual leaders.


Archbishop Coakley establishes first Blessed Stanley Rother Institute

By Steve Gust
The Sooner Catholic

The goal of advancing Christ's mission in the world is getting a boost through a new religious leadership program called the Blessed Stanley Rother Institute.

The Rother Institute, which is named in honor of the Oklahoma priest, missionary and martyr who gave his life for his faith, will provide faith formation for spiritual leaders in the archdiocese, including religious education directors, Catholic school teachers and principals, parish catechists, youth ministers, deacons and RCIA coordinators.


One Church, Many Disciples campaign to strengthen growing parishes

The number of Oklahomans has grown substantially in recent years. In just the seven years between 2010 and 2017, the state’s population increased by more than 179,000 people. This growth has brought with it an increase in the number of Catholics as well.

For more than 100 years, Catholics made up only about 4 percent of the state population, but Catholics now comprise an estimated 8 percent of the population. Today, there are more than 200,000 Catholics who make up the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City in central and western Oklahoma.